“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” ? Charles Darwin.
Here at The Maydays our business is connection. It’s about getting people playing together, communicating and laughing. Improvisation is one of the most group orientated activities I can think of. The very opposite of ‘social distancing’. And this week, like so many others, we had to close the doors and shut up shop.
Following the immediate panic of watching our livelihoods disappearing overnight, we pulled our socks up and said <insert rousing orchestral underscore here! > “Hey, we are improvisers. Our ethos is Yes And…! Adaptation is our craft. Nothing is a mistake, everything is a gift. This – where the ground changes under your feet, everything is uncertain and a curveball whacks you in the face – THIS is what we have been training for.”
So last night at 8pm, when our usual weekly drop in should be taking place at The Maydays Studio, we ran our first ever online improv class.
There was some clunks and some grinds as we adjusted to the technology, of course. Games had to be adjusted to work with the time lag and spacial differences; some experiments worked better than others. But the most important thing is IT DID WORK. People laughed, people played. Scenes happened between peeps who were miles apart – we had Oliver Twist meeting the Devil, and a burglar with a penchant for interior design – and the players got a round of applause from far and wide.
After spending 2 hours laughing and playing with other human beings, I felt so good. We moved, we messed about, we escaped. And there was something so invigorating about connecting with the improv nuts that joined me for the adventure. All human beings in their own homes, who are all going through their own experience of this collective crazy world shit. All yes-anding the craziness and being willing to give it a go.
We are improvisers. We adapt and grow and fail and learn and build. And we spread joy. So this is just one way we will ‘Yes and’ this situation. Running online improv classes, alongside our friends at The Nursery.
As the world begins to isolate, the need for human connection is greater than ever!
They’re calling it ‘social distancing’ right now. Let’s change that terminology to ‘physical distancing’. We are and always will be social animals; connection is part of our survival and last night proved that it is still very possible and still very fun. So come and join the ride.
If you would like to join us online then you can book your place here.